Sunday, August 14, 2011

Peruvian Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lime

I've never made a beer can chicken before, but I knew I had to make this dish as soon as I came across it in Cook’s Illustrated magazine. Garlic and lime are two of my favorite flavors and the recipe looked so incredibly flavorful I couldn't pass it up. I'm glad I didn't because this chicken was amazing. There's just no other way to describe it. The flavors really complimented each other perfectly (even the mint and mint tends to ruin a lot of dishes for me). The chicken skin was also wonderful. I don't even like to eat the skin, but it was so crunchy and tasty I couldn't stop myself. I can't wait to use this marinade on drumsticks the next time I have people over. Yum.


The original recipe recommended serving the chicken with a spicy mayonnaise. I included the recipe since I heard it was super tasty, but I didn't make it myself (just used prepared mayo for a shortcut). I don't like mayonnaise and the chicken was so juicy it didn't need anything else in my opinion. Also, I used a jalapeno instead of a serrano since that's what I had on hand.

Would I make this again? Oh my god yes. Next time I'll probably use chicken pieces and skip the beer can though cause I'm lazy.

Peruvian Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lime

This recipe calls for a vertical poultry roaster. If you don’t have one, substitute a 12-ounce can of beer. Open the beer and pour out (or drink) about half of the liquid. Spray the can lightly with nonstick cooking spray and proceed with the recipe. If the top of the chicken is becoming too dark during the second roasting, place a 7-inch-square piece of foil over the neck and wingtips. If habanero chiles are unavailable, 1 tablespoon of minced serrano chile can be substituted. Wear gloves when working with hot chiles.


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 medium garlic cloves , peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons finely grated zest and 1/4 cup juice from 2 limes
1 teaspoon minced habanero chile (see note)
1 (3 1/2-to 4-pound) whole chicken


1. Process all ingredients except chicken in blender until smooth paste forms, 10 to 20 seconds. Using fingers or handle of wooden spoon, carefully loosen skin over thighs and breast and remove any excess fat. Rub half of paste beneath skin of chicken. Spread entire exterior surface of chicken with remaining paste. Tuck wingtips underneath chicken. Place chicken in gallon-size zipper-lock bag and refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.

2. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Place vertical roaster on rimmed baking sheet. Slide chicken onto vertical roaster so chicken stands upright and breast is perpendicular to bottom of pan. Roast until skin just begins to turn golden and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 140 degrees, 45 to 55 minutes. Carefully remove chicken and pan from oven and increase oven temperature to 500 degrees.

3. When oven is heated to 500 degrees, place 1 cup water in bottom of pan and return pan to oven. Roast until entire skin is browned and crisp and instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees inserted in thickest part of breast and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, about 20 minutes (replenish water as necessary to keep pan from smoking), rotating bird 180 degrees halfway through cooking.

4. Carefully remove chicken from oven and let rest, still on vertical roaster, 20 minutes. Using kitchen towel, carefully lift chicken off vertical roaster and onto platter or cutting board. Carve chicken and serve, passing Spicy Mayonnaise separately.

Spicy Mayonnaise

If you have concerns about consuming raw eggs, 1/4 cup of an egg substitute can be used in place of the egg.


1 large egg (see note)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon canned pickled jalapeño pepper, minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup vegetable oil


Process all ingredients except oil in food processor until finely chopped, about 5 seconds. With machine running, slowly drizzle in oil in steady stream until mayonnaise-like consistency is reached, scraping down bowl as necessary.

Cook’s Illustrated